When is it time for supper?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rooman, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Rooman

    Rooman Hatching

    May 14, 2007
    Hello all, I'm a newbie to chickens and hope this isn't a dumb question. I've got 9 Black Austrolorp, 1 Plymouth Barred Rock and 2 Rhode Island Reds. All are hens as far as I can tell and I've just started getting eggs within the past 2 weeks, they are just ove 4 months old now.
    I also have 5 Plymouth Barred Rock - 2 of which I think are Roos, and 3 Rhode Island Red - 1 of which I think is a Roo. The last batch are two months younger than the first.
    My question is, since I think I've got more birds than I need/want, when is the best time to take out some of the birds. I've been feeling them and they don't really feel that plump and heavy yet. Will they still get bigger and not get tough or anything?
    Any suggestions on which breeds would be best to keep?
    I originally did get them as "dual purpose" birds, hoping not only for eggs but meat also and I would like to keep at least 1 roo so I can hatch more next spring.
    Any suggestions would be appriciated - Thanks.
  2. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Welcome! And in most cases, no such thing as a dumb question.

    Personally, I'd definetely keep the Barred Rock and Rhode Island girls. If you can't have all of them, pick the friendliet ones, or the ones that you think look best. The first to go for me would be the BR roos. If you can have a roo, I'd keep the RIR.
    As for when to plan on having some chicken for dinner, I don't know. I've never been able to think about killing any of my girls or guys.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, chances are, these dual purpose breeds are more towards the layer half of the breed. Unfortunately they will never grow to that juicy table bird you can buy at the store. The table birds at the store are bred for meat and they are called cornish x's. For these dual purpose birds though, you can get some decent meat on them and so I find the best compromise between meat and shoe leather/stew only is to butcher males at about 14-16 weeks old.

    As for who to keep, I say go with the friendliest ones and the most promising layers.

    Edit: These will taste just as good if not better than the conishx's just less meat total. Also. When you butcher, don't forget to age overnight.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007

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